To enhance the workability of mon cheval noir, I had to make sure I was set from the tip top and very bottom. As you well know by now, the research was key. I took many, many hours of reading articles and watching videos to make the right choices; after all, I would have these choices for some seasons ahead. Of course, the objective is quite clear. I had put so much thought into making the bike just right that I could not impede its progress with adding weight or increasing drag.
For my shoes I went with Northwave Tech Plus. I have always worn Northwave and enjoyed the design of the shoe in relation to my foot shape. The cup is strong and holds firm, mile after mile. These shoes are not the lightest in the market, but they are light with a claimed weight of 235 grams. The Speed Lace Winch system is incredible, dialing the shoe tightness with micro adjustments that pull the whole shoe around the foot evenly and can be easily adjusted either way while on the fly. Trying them on for the first time, I noticed how minimal they are; in other words, there is no waste in design from the Biomap technology in the soles to the heat-treated wax, nylon wire (derived from a sailing technique).
For the protection of my brain bucket, I finally decided to go with the Kask Infinity. In the beginning, I had my reservations about this aero helmet with a claimed weight of 290 grams. The main thing was keeping me cool in the scorching, oppressive, and machinating heat of the South. The dome of the helmet has a retractable roof for opening or closing vents in increments for desired level of breathability. When fully closed, the helmet still has two vents along the brow that allows air flow. All the air escapes in the back through massive exhaust vents. The padding is great and the fit is easy with a micro-dial adjustment in the rear, and I also liked the fact that the chin strap closer is under one ear instead of under the chin, simple and smart. Speaking of the chin strap, it is eco-leather for softness and comfort . . . and it is.
Right now, I’m still dialing in the new equipment. After my first true venture, I will post my first impressions . . . good or bad. To say I’m excited is an understatement, but the funny thing is that I’m also a bit nervous about introducing so much newness at one time. Will it affect me on the bike and how long will it take to adjust to everything? I’m planning a launch this coming Sunday.